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Lomandra longifolia

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

Spiny-headed mat rush

Tussock forming perennial rhizomatous herb. Separate male and female plants. Often used for planting on highway embankments and median strips; mass planting in parks; erosion control and bank stabilisation.

Leaves - bright green, flat, tough, usually 8-10mm wide but sometimes much narrower, 40-80 cm long.

Flowers - creamy with purplish centres, almost cylindrical, 3-4mm long, stalkless, borne in clusters 1-2cm long along the branches of a panicle which is usually about half the length of the leaves and 5-6cm wide, the stem of the panicle strongly flattened, the branches in pairs, the lowest pair bout 5cm long, the clusters subtended by tapering broad-based bracts which are variable in length but are usually 1-2cm long.

Fruit - shining brown capsule, 5mm long, 3mm diameter.

Flowering spring-early summer.

Indigenous uses - from the strap-shaped leaves women made baskets, nets and net-bags. After splitting each rush the women would then tie them into bundles to be soaked allowing the fibres to become suitable for weaving. Some usages for the baskets were fish and eel traps. Tough leaves were split into strips and woven into sturdy dillies and mats. Flowers are edible – tasty and starchy, but watch out for the spines; fruit are also edible – tough, ground into meal first; leaf bases are edible, with a pea-like flavour.


sandy soils on the margin of a shallow drainage channel and skeletal soils in rock pockets and crevices of rocky ridges.


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